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Call for the FSA monster to be tamed

Friends Provident is planning “best of sector” ethical funds in a bid to keep up with the widening appeal of socially responsible investment.

The company says the move, due later this year, responds to the broadening

appeal of ethical investments which includes an increasingly wider mix of


The new funds will invest in companies in any sector which demonstrate the

most socially responsible stance among its peers.

Friends says this stops investors missing out on any high-returning

sectors which may be traditionally barred for investment through products

with more traditional “dark green” stock selection with stricter ethical


The company says investors range from the very ethically minded, who put

ethical concerns before profit, through to those who would like to include

an ethical element but remain more concerned with returns.

Friends pioneered the ethical sector with the launch of its strict

criteria “dark green” stewardship unit and income trusts in 1984.

The new funds address consumer concerns on traditional ethical investment

products not providing as high returns as traditional non-ethical funds.

External communications manager Jim Murdoch says: “Investors can engage in

the benefits of socially responsible investment by taking ethical option

into account without altering investment philosophy or stock-selec tion



Skating on thin Isa

As I was putting the finishing touches to my latest five-page letter ofrecommendation for a regular-savings Isa, I reflected on a programme onRadio a few weeks ago.A couple of learned industry professionals were in the studio to answerquestions about Isas from members of the public.Most of the questions were unremarkable, typically from people who had […]

Origo set to be standard setter in the US market

Origo is set to export its electronic standards to several of the biggestUS insurers.The Edinburgh-based organisation is a pioneer in setting common standardsfor electronic trading of life and pension plans.But now several major US players are understood to be interested in thestandards established by Origo, which are to be extended in the next twomonths to […]

Powerful Pru backs fight for polarisation

More and more players are lining up behind Aifa to defend polarisation intheir submissions to the FSA consultation.The Prudential group has backed the full status quo while pointing outthat, with Prudential, Scottish Amicable, fund manager M&G and directonline provider Egg, it covers the full range of financial servicesdistribution.Although hardly a surprise, both IFA Promotion and […]

Soho so good

The rise of the Soho (small office, home office) worker has been a keyphenomenon in the workplace of recent years.Not only have the number of self-employed operators risen but asignificant number of big companies have also decided that staff can justas easily work from home.Working from home can save costs, especially for advisers who are […]

A modern horror story

Every day a quick scan of the news reveals some new horror that will change the lives of those involved forever – the unlucky accident on the way to work, a tragic illness that cuts a young life short or the holiday accident that leaves more than just a scar to cope with. We barely […]


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